Katie Lance
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Katie Lance in Economics & Politics,

the global economy as a living organism

If the global economy were a living, breathing organism, it might look a lot like the dynamic Voronoi diagram that HowMuch.net put together this week.

The cost-estimating website compiled data from the International Monetary Fund and created an animation to show how the GDP of the world’s biggest countries evolved from 1980 to 2015. The idea is to illustrate how countries have grown and contracted relative to each other.

It’s mostly subtle. In the U.S.’s case, you can see how the economy shrank until 1995 before starting to grow toward its peak in 2002. At that point, it declined again until about 2009, and it’s been relatively stable at about 22% of global GDP since that time period.

The most noticeable change, HowMuch.net points out, is the transfer of economic dominance from Europe to Asia over the last 35 years. By the numbers, Europe represented some 32% of the world’s economic activity in 1980, while Asia comprised only about 20%. The two regions had completely flipped positions by 2012. Of note, China exploded from 2.8% in 1980 to 13.4% in 2014.

Watch the full animated version of the diagram